Stephen Munday/Getty Images
Gene Sarazen performing his duty as as ceremonial starter at the Masters.
Gene Sarazen, diminutive in size, was not only a powerful player, but a powerful presence in the emerging years of professional golf. He was a seven-time major champion and his career was highlighted by three things.
First, in the second year of the Masters, Sarazen holed his second shot on the par-five 15th hole for an albatross that vaulted him to the title.
Secondly, in the 1973 Open Championship, Sarazen, then 71, aced Troon’s "Postage Stamp" eighth hole. The next day, he holed his bunker shot for a two at the same hole.
Thirdly, he came up with a game-changing invention, the sand wedge, and he became one of the best in terms of using that club.
He was the first to win a modern career Grand Slam (Masters, U.S. Open, Open Championship, PGA Championship) when he won the 1935 PGA. He won 42 events around the world, including 39 in the United States.